NO. R-229. JOINT RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO EXEMPT CANADIAN CITIZENS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 110 OF THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND IMMIGRANT RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1996.

(J.R.S. 67)

Offered by: Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator Costes of Franklin County, Senator Kittell of Franklin County, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans County, Senator Greenwood of Essex-Orleans County, Senator Mazza of Grand Isle County and Senator Snelling of Chittenden County.

Whereas, the United States and Canada share both the world's longest undefended border and the largest bilateral trade relationship that daily exceeds $1 billion in goods and services, and

Whereas, the rate of cross-border traffic is steadily increasing and in 1996 reached an annual total of 75 million Canadians and 55 million Americans entering each other's nation, and

Whereas, Section 110 of the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 directs that the United States Attorney General develop an automated control system that would be utilized to register all aliens who enter and leave the United States, and

Whereas, this statute does not exclude Canadian citizens from its definition of alien and will therefore greatly inconvenience our northern neighbors who have for many years enjoyed the privilege of summary border inspection, and

Whereas, many extended families, and close friends, live in communities along both sides of the Vermont-Quebec border and regularly cross back and forth for employment, shopping, recreation and cultural purposes, including visits to the Haskell Free Library and Opera House in Derby Line that literally stands in both nations, and

Whereas, this new control system will place extremely timely and costly burdens on millions of American and Canadian citizens as well as greatly disrupt the daily lives of Vermont's border communities' residents, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Vermont General Assembly urgently requests that the United States Congress amend Section 110 of the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, prior to its September 30, 1998 effective date, to specifically exclude Canadian citizens from its provisions, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of the Province of Quebec, and to members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.